Friday, July 10, 2009

Shoppach Slams White Sox; Hermida Covers the Bases in Florida Win

Players of the Day for Thursday, July 9, 2009 American League By the end of the third inning, Cleveland had already put up 9 runs on the host Chicago White Sox. Trouble was, the Sox had scored 6 themselves as the two teams began emptying their bullpens early. The rest of the game wasn't nearly as exciting, as the Indians scored just once more and Chicago plated two, as Cleveland held on for the 10-8 win. The big blow for the Indians came in the second inning, out of the #9 spot, on this night occupied by catcher Kelly Shoppach, a sub-.200 hitter with just 6 homers on the year. When Shoppach came to the plate with no outs and the bases loaded in the second, he unleashed his 7th bomb of the season, clearing the bases with a grand slam. Shoppach came to the plate just an inning later with the bases full again, but was walked this time, earning him his 5 RBI of the night. National League Entering the top of the 6th inning, the visiting Florida Marlins found themselves trailing Arizona by a 7-0 score. With victory seemingly in hand, the Diamondbacks and their fans had to be shocked by the sudden turn of events as the Marlins went on to score 3 runs in the 6th, 1 in the 7th and 10 in the 8th inning for a resounding come-from-behind 14-7 victory. Right in the middle of the action was utility outfielder Jeremy Hermida, who served in both left and right fields during the game. In the 6th Hermida launched his 9th home run of the season, a solo shot which made the score 7-3, and in the 10-run 8th, he singled, scored, got up to the plate and singled home another run and scored again. Five at-bats, three hits, 2 RBI and 3 runs was Hermida's stat line for the night. He, and the rest of the upstart never-say-die Marlin teammates are why Florida trails Philadelphia by a mere 2 games in the NL East, and are beginning to look like the most balanced team in the division. NOTES: With the exception of the NL West, races in the divisions could not have been much closer. As of Thursday night, the Yankees had caught the Red Sox and are tied for the AL East lead. Detroit still leads the L Central, but by a mere 2 1/2 games. The slimmest of margins belongs to the Texas Rangers in the West, who are just 1/2 game ahead of the charging Los Angeles Angets. In the National League, Philly leads the Marlins and St. Louis leads Milwaukee by 2 games each. The West is still dominated by the Dodgers, who are 7 games to the good over San Francisco.

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